Video games are not something new to our society in fact they are a huge part of our culture today, grounded as a force to be reckoned with within the entertainment industry and global economy. Computer games alone in 2015 generated twenty-one billion dollars in revenue according to statista.com which is almost a third of all total video game related sales, this number trumps the NFLs total annual revenue by more than twice as much. To say the least video games are here to stay and in the world of sports they are making big plays, the biggest coming from the scene of competitive gaming, from games like League of Legends and DOTA2 too Mortal Kombat, Super Smash Brothers and Counter Strike each having a mass following and drawing in crowds big enough to rival any major league sports event.
The best part about these games is that anyone can play, anyone who has the willingness to try and go beyond their current skill set can be a winner, now no one is saying you will be winning tournaments left and right without hours of dedicated practice, passion and sacrifice but it isn’t something that can just be considered a past time anymore. Video Games are something you can build a career around and not just through development and distribution but through things such as guides and critical reviews; like the guys at the Angry Joe Show on YouTube, as well as tutorials, exploits or even machinima like the now franchised Red vs Blue team over at roosterteeth.com and then of course there is competitive gaming itself.
E-sports total distribution of prize money according to esportsearnings.com has been over one hundred and eighty-five million dollars since 1998 and some of the best players in the world are taking home over one-hundred thousand dollars a year and can win upwards to fifty thousand dollars at a single tournament, not to mention any streaming or other videos they personally have distributed over the internet. These players are the rock stars of the online world and in the world of online games League of Legends has the market corned, in 2014 riot games announced that it has over sixty-seven million active players monthly making it the world’s most popular computer game by far, and that number is still growing today. Last year leagues biggest competitor DOTA2 had the biggest prize pool for any single video game tournament on earth, with the championships grand prize money being set at twenty million dollars, for a single team, that’s more money than all the Denver broncos players made at the super bowl this year combined.
Fiscally video games just make sense with multiple franchise viewership’s, dedicated platforms, lucrative subsidiaries, sponsorship opportunities not to mention the cultural relevance to a rising young society, heck the only thing that separates video games from athletic sports is the physical aspect. As these games become more sophisticated and technology begins to fuse our reality and the virtual realm together we will see an even larger impact on the importance of today’s electronic sports and how they will have shaped the future for all sports.